Adventures / Wild Hikes

Trek Lodge to Lodge in the Atlas Mountains

Explore rugged valleys surrounded by Morocco’s highest peaks by day and sleep in comfort by night

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Trip Ref #10408

Adventures / Wild Hikes

Trek Lodge to Lodge in the Atlas Mountains

Explore rugged valleys surrounded by Morocco’s highest peaks by day and sleep in comfort by night

DURATION

5 nights

LOCATION

Morocco

ANNUAL LEAVE

4 days off work

SEASON

Year-round

GROUP SIZE

Up to 8 people

MEETING POINT

Marrakesh Menara Airport

ACCOMMODATION

Traditional riad · Lodge · Guesthouse

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

The elevation and long days can be tiring, so a moderate level of fitness and stamina will be needed

Hike the peaks and valleys of the Ouirgane and Toubkal National Park, past Berber villages and age-old kasbahs

Discover the UNESCO-listed main square, riads and colourful souks of Marrakech’s historic medina

Bed down in cosy retreats in the heart of the mountains and indulge on locally-sourced traditional Moroccan food

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We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

Peter, April 2022

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Included

Guides

Experienced, English-speaking mountain guides

Accommodation

2 nights in a riad, 2 in a mountain lodge, 1 in a guesthouse

Meals

All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in-between

Porterage

Mules to carry your luggage on the trek

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Some meals as described

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Marrakech Menara Airport

Arrive anytime on Day 1

Ends

Marrakech Menara Airport

Depart anytime on Day 6

Transfers

Private transfers between the airport and your riad are included for any time (and day) you choose to arrive or depart.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Marrakech from airports across the UK, Europe and North America via Europe.

Day 1

Traditional riad · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 3

Lodge · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Traditional riad · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Moroccan food is a unique blend of sweet and savoury flavours. Local specialities include tajines (a stew cooked in an earthenware pot), couscous and pastilles (flaky pastries stuffed with meat and dusted with cinnamon and sugar). Food is often spiced with cumin, turmeric and ginger.

Breakfast will usually feature bread, jam, cookies, fruit, juice, coffee and milk, while lunch will feature salad, tomatoes, carrots, lentils, beans, rice or pasta, fish (sardines, tuna) and seasonal fruit. Dinner will usually include soup, a classic Moroccan tajine, couscous, olives, nuts and fruit.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Marrakech

In Marrakech, you'll stay in a beautiful riad - traditional Moroccan houses with an interior garden or courtyard. The exact riad you stay in will be confirmed nearer the time based on availability and group size. All are chosen for their excellent reputation, location, beautiful decor and welcoming service.

Ouirgane

You'll spend one night at the Ouirgane Ecolodge, located in Maghira village beside the National Taghrghourte Reserve.

The lodge was constructed using traditional local architecture with the interior and exterior walls made entirely of natural products. The goal being to ensure materials are resourced sustainably, with respect for the environment and an appreciation for the local Berber culture. The lodge also provides employment both directly and indirectly to the local community and surrounding villages.

Aït Aïssa

You'll spend one night at the Azzaden Trekking Lodge, perched on a hillside in the village of Aït Aïssa (1820m). The lodge is comfortable, with an open fire, four en-suite bedrooms and excellent local cuisine. It also allows you to stay right in the heart of the spectacular Atlas Mountains without having to compromise on accommodation.

Imlil

You'll spend one night at the Dar Adrar Guesthouse, located in a serene mountain setting in the Toubkal National Park. The guesthouse features cosy and neat accommodation in eight colourful Berber-style guest rooms with private bathrooms, four of them with a private chimney, a roof terrace with panoramic views over the Imlil valley, and an on-site Hammam or Turkish bath.

Upgrades

Due to the limited number of rooms, it is not possible to request a private room upgrade for this trip.

Day 1

Touch down and explore Marrakech

Fly into the city of Marrakech where your host will meet you at the airport and take you to your traditional riad in Marrakech’s historic medina. You'll then get the chance to spend the day exploring the city’s colourful souks, wander the UNESCO-listed main square and indulge in some amazing Moroccan food.

Day 2

Head to the mountains

Hiking

5-6hrs · 12km · 650m up · 350m down

Meet your fellow adventurers and drive to the trailhead in Imi Oughlad where you’ll meet your local support team. You’ll kickstart your adventure with a hike through the Ouirgane National Park, heading towards the red clay village of Tinzert. Enjoy a picnic lunch under the juniper trees before continuing to Marigha village through the olive groves and on to your first mountain lodge, where a well earned dinner and bed are waiting.

Day 3

Berber villages

Hiking

5-6hrs · 10km · 760m up

After breakfast, you'll hike through the olives groves and on to a steady ascent towards the Azzaden Valley. Expansive views open up as you cross over into the valley and your guide will pick a picturesque spot to whip up lunch. After lunch you’ll follow the river, hiking through several small traditional Berber villages before reaching the Azzaden Trekking Lodge, perched on a hillside in the village of Aït Aïssa (1820m). Enjoy the sunset with views of the valley before dinner and bunking down for the night.

Day 4

Waterfalls and mountain ranges

Hiking

5-7hrs · 12km · 640m up · 700m down

Wake up in the heart of the mountains and hit the trail again. Today you’ll hike via the Imlil waterfalls in the Toubkal National Park before continuing to Ait Mizan Valley via Tizi Mzzik at 2500m, with massive views of the Imlil villages and Atlas mountain range. You’ll later descend down to Imlil where you’ll be welcomed with a hot mint tea at the guesthouse.

Day 5

Journey back to Marrakech

Hiking

6-7hrs · 13km · 789m up · 929m down

Up bright and early it’s time to hit the trails one last time. You’ll start out with a trek along the Tamatert Valley before taking the Tizi n’Tamatert mountain pass (2,279m) with big views into the Imnane Valley. Wind your way down the mule trail passing through Berber villages and stopping for a picnic at Jbel Oukaimeden (3,268m) before saying farewell to your crew and heading back to Marrakech for a final farewell feast.

Day 6

Goodbye Morocco

Relax over your last Moroccan breakfast, explore the town some more, then transfer to the airport to catch your flight home.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What do I need to bring?

BAGS
Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
Daypack (25+ litres)

CLOTHES
Waterproof jacket
Lightweight down jacket
Waterproof trousers
Breathable wicking layers
Thermals (top and bottom, merino ideal)
Fleece or warm mid-layer
Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
T-shirts
Underwear & socks
Swimwear
Sunglasses
Sunhat
Winter hat
Gloves
Something to sleep in
Waterproof hiking boots (worn-in)

OTHER
Universal travel plug adapter
Power bank or solar charger
Passports (and visas)
Travel Insurance documents
Earplugs
Suncream
Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
Alcohol hand-gel
Headtorch or torch
Reusable water bottle (x1 litre)
Biodegradable wet-wipes
Energy bars and snacks

Pre/Post Trip Accommodation Double/Twin Room

Payable Before Departure

Pre/Post Trip Accommodation Double/Twin Room

Per Night

Pre/Post Trip Accommodation Single Room

Payable Before Departure

Pre/Post Trip Accommodation Single Room

Per Night

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 123kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

Much of the trek is within the capabilities of people with good fitness who are keen trekkers. Some training beforehand will help and we advise doing at least one weekend of back to back days walking. So although this trek is rated ‘moderate’ there are plenty of hours factored into each day to ensure it is completed by all. You only need to carry a day-pack each day. The views along the way make the journey more than worthwhile!

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

From April to October, daytime temperatures in the valleys are typically warm (25 - 30°C) but cool off considerably at night, and the higher you go, the cooler it gets. In the winter (November to March), daytime temperatures are still warm (10 - 20°C), but nighttime temperatures can drop below freezing. Afternoon storms are always possible in the Atlas Mountains during the summer months, but typically the winter months are wetter.

It rains a little in the valleys and snows on the peaks for a few days a month in the winter. Still, the amounts are small and generally, they don’t prevent anyone from enjoying the trek. The valleys are still warm and the snow on the high peaks makes the scenery that much more beautiful!

You can leave luggage you don't need in Marrakech, your host will store it safely.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

For current advice about travelling in Morocco, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice however we suggest a minimum of 150 - 200 Dirham per person.

Of course, you are free to tip more or less and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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